*SANTANA — ABRAXAS (50th Anniversary)

It blows my mind to think that this year (2020) is the 50th anniversary of Abraxas by Santana. Man, 50 years is half a century, and that is a long-ass time. 

I remember when I was a kid that my father had a Santana LP in his Vinyl collection, which from what I recall, was a pretty extensive record collection. I’m not sure which Santana album he had, or if he had more than one LP — all I remember is that the artwork was pretty awesome. I would say that I was somewhat familiar with Santana and a few of his songs here and there, but I never really paid attention to him until my late teens.

It was the summer of 1999, and Carlos Santana had his big comeback album Supernatural — An album featuring guest artists and a few instrumental tracks; It was a massive worldwide hit — It dominated radio airplay. It swept most of the music awards that year, including the Grammys. The entire album is pure summer magic for me; the music still feels very much relevant today, and it brings me back to a time in my life that I often look back with fondness. Supernatural ended up opening my eyes and my curiosity towards Santana’s discography.

As I researched their discography, I went all the way back to the genesis of the band and their first self-titled album released in 1969 to get a better sense of Santana’s music; however, it wasn’t until I discovered their second album; Abraxas, that my admiration for Santana was firmly cemented.

In one of my many visits to the DC area, I was at Smash records in Adams Morgan when flipping through the classic rock section; I came across a pristine first US pressing of Abraxas, which included an original Santana Poster. It was a no brainer for me, and I went ahead and bought it. It wasn’t too expensive, but it wasn’t cheap also, and I was ecstatic to finally own Abraxas on vinyl to pair it with my LP copy of Santana III.

Recorded between April and May of 1970 and Released on September 23, 1970, Abraxas was Santana’s second studio album, but their first album to reach #1 in the US. The album’s title is inspired by a passage from Hermann Hesse’s book Demian and the album cover art is from a painting by Mati Klarwein.

The album was a game-changer in the world of music, and it became a highly influential album to generations of musicians thereafter. There is a unique rawness to this album, mostly because there was nobody else from that era that sounded like Santana. Abraxas is the ultimate communion between Afro-Latino music, Blues, Jazz, and Rock. It has been 50 years since this album came out, and it still holds strong as one of the best and most impactful albums of all time.

Tracks:

1.Singing Winds, Crying Beasts (instrumental): Drums, keyboards, electric guitar; I love this intro track, it sets the mood for the whole album, and it gets me going every time I play it.

2.Black Magic Woman: The opening drums setting up the guitar is perfect. It is sensual and hypnotic; this track is simply out of this world. 

3.Oye Como Va: This song created an entirely new genre of music in the Spanish speaking Mundo. Oye Como Va was an original 1963 Mambo composition by Tito Puente; It is important to note that traditional Latin bands of that era were initially outraged by the idea of their music being covered by Rock bands. And initially, Tito Puente was not very supportive of the idea but came around to Santana’s version of Oye Como Va after the song and album became a hit. If this track doesn’t compel you to move and dance, then you probably have no soul. 

4.Incident at Neshabur (Instrumental): This track is a rollercoaster of sounds and a clear example of the high level of skillfulness from the band.

5.Se a Cabo: Written by percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas. This track has a Salsa vibe mixed with some intense electric guitar. 

6.Mothers daughters: This is probably the least Afro-Latino influenced track of this album. It is more of a traditional Rock piece that shows the versatility of the band. 

7.Samba Pa Ti (Instrumental): The story behind the inspiration of this song is legendary. This is the sexiest track of this album; it is smooth, elegant, and beautiful. 

8.Hope You’re feeling Better: The solo riffs are powerful, and Greg Rollie’s singing is outstanding. This track is pure late 60s early 70s Rock and Roll. 

9.El Nicoya: Another contribution by “Chepito.” The track is short but sweet; it is a groovy way to brings this spellbinding album to a close.

*NFL WEEK 7 (2020 Season)

Oh, the sweet taste of victory! Beating Dallas is always a special thing, regardless of how non-competitive this once-fierce rivalry has become in the last few years. 

It is evident that Kyle Allen knows Scott Turner’s offense better than Haskins and can run it effectively. However, that doesn’t mean that he is an upgrade or the future of our quarterback position. The running game got going behind rookie RB Antonio Gibson; I’ve been waiting for Gibson to have a breakout game, and this was his best game so far this season. The OL was dominant, although the stats show that Dallas’ defensive front can’t stop anybody, which is why we were able to dominate easily. Logan Thomas is becoming a reliable catching tight end, and Terry McLaurin is clearly the best wide receiver in the NFC East. Our defense allowed ZERO touchdowns and was always in complete control throughout the game.

Dallas is a dumpster fire right now. 

Look, Dallas is terrible right now, so it is not like we beat the Chiefs; nevertheless, we should be winning games against bad teams like Dallas. The Cowboys are overrated and overhyped; years and years of overspending on overpriced and non-producing free agents is coming back to haunt them. 

Bad news to find out Landon Collins is out for the season; sucks, ‘cause he found his rhythm before coming out of the game. Every year there are injuries on every team, and Washington has always struggled to deal with injuries, mostly when starters are ruled out. However, this 2020 team has solid depth and some quality backups to provide some hope as we go into the colder months. Next week is our bye week, and we take on the NY Giants on Week 9.

WFT 25 — COWBOYS 3:

And for the rest of the league…..

EAGLES 22 — GIANTS 21:

Everybody is alive in the NFC East, and both of these teams are trying to win some games to separate from the pack and take over this lousy division. Philly has an excellent chance to take a big step towards the NFC East title next week against 2-5 Dallas. 

CARDINALS 37 — SEAHAWKS 34:

This game went to overtime, and it took two field goal attempts for Arizona to put away Seattle. Kyler Murray is slowly asserting himself as one of the most exciting players in the NFL. The Seahawks seem to be showing signs of weakness on the defensive side, leading to Russell Wilson taking some costly chances. 

49ERS 33 — PATRIOTS 6:

San Francisco embarrassed New England at home; it was complete and total domination from the 49ers. Jimmy G had a decent game but still managed to throw 2 interceptions and zero TDs, which should be cause for concern if San Francisco intends to make another Super Bowl run. The Patriots have now lost 2 in a row and are starting to show cracks all over. Cam was benched late in the 3rd quarter after throwing 3 interceptions. New England has a HUGE division game next week against Buffalo. Belicheater is having a hard time winning without Brady. 

RAMS 24 — BEARS 10:

Chicago had nothing to offer offensively, and Nick Foles threw 2 interceptions. Jared Goff was effective and managed the game well without any costly mistakes. Next week they take on a 3-3 Miami team with Tua making his first NFL start. Despite this loss, the Bears are 5-2 and in the mix of it all with Green Bay for the division, but they have another tough matchup against Drew Brees and the Saints.

BUCCANEERS 45 — RAIDERS 20:

Tom Brady put on another display of firepower against this hot and cold Vegas team. Brady threw 4 TDs and continued to get back in sync with Gronk. Next up for Tampa Bay is the NY Giants, which should be a more competitive game than New York’s record suggest. The Raiders are now 3-3 and looking like a possible wildcard team. 

CHiEFS 43 —BRONCOS 16:

Although Patrick Mahomes only threw 1 TD, Kansas City’s defense and special teams scored TDs to run up the score on a struggling Denver team. 

SAINTS 27 — PANTHERS 24:

Carolina lost another close and competitive game. They are now 1-3, but they are much better than their record suggests. Terry Bridgewater is playing tremendous, and McCaffrey might be back soon. Drew Bress has shut everybody up, pushing for James Winston to replace him. 

BROWNS 37 — BENGALS 34:

This was the wildest game of the weekend. Joe Burrow and Baker Mayfield had themselves a shootout. Joe Burrow threw for over 300 yards with 3 TDs and 1 interception, while Baker Mayfield threw 5 TDs with 1 interception. Cleveland is now 5-2 but lost OBJ for the season. If this game is a sign of things to come for this division, we should be excited as football fans. 

BILLS 18 — JETS 10:

The NY Jets made things difficult for Buffalo. The Bills scored 6 field goals to put this game away. I’m surprised at how much Buffalo is struggling lately, but they are still 5-2 and on top of their division. 

STEELERS 27 — TITANS 24:

A thrilling game of undefeated teams that came down to a field goal. These two teams are destined to meet again in the playoffs. 

PACKERS 35 — TEXANS 20:

Aaron Rodgers had an excellent rebound game after being embarrassed in their previous game by Tom Brady and the Bucs. Houston is struggling to remain relevant, but they are way better without Bill O’Brien. Their next Head Coach will inherit a talented team. 

CHARGERS 39 — JAGUARS 29:

Justin Herbert is the real deal. Regardless of how they end up this season, the Chargers should be excited about what the future holds for this young team. Jacksonville is simply a mess.

LIONS 23 — FALCONS 22:

This was a heartbreaking loss for Atlanta. The Lions are now 3-3 and showing signs of life.

*TV SERIES RECAP: COBRA KAI (Seasons 1 & 2)

First and foremost, I’m a HUGE fan of the Karate Kid movies, especially Karate Kid 1 and Karate Kid 3; those two are my favorite movies from the entire series. Karate Kid 2 was ok; I wasn’t too crazy about it. The Next Karate Kid with Hilary Swank was forgettable at best. The Jackie Chan reboot was garbage; it should have never been made.

The first week that Kobra Kai season 1 dropped on YouTube back in 2018, I immediately subscribed (Free Trial), and I binged through the whole thing in a few days. There are 10 episodes per season, coming in at roughly 30 minutes long…pretty easy to binge through the entire series in a few sittings.

Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), our two main characters from Karate Kid 1, are back; they are now middle age, and neither one has gotten over their high school rivalry.

Jhonny struggles with adult life; He has a hard time keeping a steady job — he is divorced, lives in a dump of an apartment, and his son hates him. Zabka gives an incredible performance, giving Johnny some humanity that the original film kind of flirted with. And in Kobra Kai, we get to explore Johnny’s background much deeper, getting a better look at his home-life growing up. We also see how he views the world around him; He seems stuck in time; He displays sexists and racist views. He is angry, frustrated, hasn’t gotten over losing Ali (Elizabeth Shue), and still sees his high school days as the highlight of his life.

On the other hand, Daniel has built a successful life for himself; he owns a local car dealership while using his background in Karate as a marketing tool. He has a lovely home and a beautiful family.

There is this revisionist aspect to the Johnny Lawrence character that has provoked plenty of debate online — reshaping Johnny as the real victim and painting Daniel LaRusso as the instigator and, in a way, the original bully of the entire series. It was Daniel who threw the first punch at the beach in the original Karate Kid movie, which prompted Johnny to defend himself and whoop Daniel’s ass — which was entirely understandable. It was Daniel who continued to provoke Johnny when he used a water hose at the high school Halloween dance and prompted another beat down.

I can see how there is a case for that argument; Daniel always struck me as a bit of a brat in the movies. Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) always seemed to figure out a way to bring balance into Daniel’s life, and in the absence of Mr. Miyagi, we see Daniel reverting to those bratty ways. The endless discussions on these characters are among the many reasons why these two characters and the Karate Kid movies have such enduring power.

Season 1 is mostly about Johnny and his newfound life-purpose by bringing back Kobra Kai Dojo and having a new crop of students following his teachings, which in a big way are the teachings of John Kreese (Martin Kove). The relationship between sensei Lawrence and his top-apprentice, Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), is central to the plotline.

Season 2 is essentially Dojo vs. Dojo—Kobra Kai vs. Miyagi-Do. Daniel starts his own dojo with 2 students; Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and his daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser). Their main objective is to combat the rise of Kobra kai in the valley.

The power of mentorship is a crucial component here. We get to see how passing down knowledge positively or negatively can have a life-changing effect on young pupils. We see how the outcasts and the nerds become bullies by being taught Kobra Kai’s “Strike first, strike hard, no mercy” philosophy.

The cast of young misfits is excellent. Eli/Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and his rivalry with his former bestie Demetri (Gianni Decenzo) is an engaging sub-plot. Miguel’s mom Carmen (Vanessa Rubio), adds a compelling dynamic to the storyline, and I think season 3 should explore her background a bit further. I sense Carmen or even Tory (Peyton List) has a connection to Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) or Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), the two villains from Karate Kid 3. Tory shows up out of nowhere, and all of a sudden, she becomes the clear-cut young villainous bully the show was needing.

Kobra Kai is nostalgic TV at its finest. It pulls away from the 80s effectively, but it still embraces 80s culture beautifully. Exceptionally well produced and well written. It is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying binge-watching experiences of recent memory.

Five out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Cobra Kai (Season 1-2). Streaming on NETFLIX

*NFL WEEK 6 (2020 Season)

Why in the hell would you go for a two-point conversion when there are 36 seconds left in the game? Your offense was shaky at best all afternoon; Kyle Allen is not Russell Wilson or Patrick Mahomes, so just kick the extra point, tie the game at 20-20 and go to overtime. Do you want to show your team how to win? Do you want to test your team? And you say you want to teach your team how to win? Which is why you went for two instead of the extra point?

Then, why don’t you teach them how to win in overtime and see if they can actually go out and win the game — but don’t just give away the game with 36 seconds left by going for 2 instead of going for the tie. There is virtually no time to get the ball back if you fail. Which we did fail, and we lost the game. 

Look, Ron Rivera gambled twice on 4th down, and it paid off….great, I applaud you — but I don’t care if the analytics say that converting a 2 point play is about 50/50. The fan base needed this win badly, this was a divisional game — a must-win game, and you don’t gamble with these type of games. This was a heavy loss.

Daniel Jones had nothing against us except for one good run. Our defense took control of the game towards the 4th quarter, and the Giants couldn’t get anything going offensively. We had the momentum; we should have gone to overtime and beat them there. Our running game continues to struggle. Peyton Barber has been useless so far this season. I do not see anyone stepping up to potentially be the bell cow running back like Derrius Guice was supposed to be and was starting to show flashes of potential greatness. 

Next week, we have another divisional game against the Cowboys. Dallas has a bad defense, and their offense is struggling. I don’t see Zeke running on our defensive front, Andy Dalton will have to beat us through the air, and Amari Cooper is their most dangerous weapon. Still, this is a very winnable game — Lets Beat Dallas. 

WFT 19 — NY GIANTS 20:

And for the rest of the league…..

CARDINALS 38 — COWBOYS 10:

Dallas got beat badly by Arizona; it was a miserable night for Dallas, and that brought joy to my soul. The Cowboys defense is looking extremely vulnerable, and my Washington Team has an excellent chance to make a statement next week against them. 

RAVENS 30 — EAGLES 28:

Lamar Jackson was somewhat contained in this game but still managed to throw 1 TD and run for another. Carson Wentz played much better than in previous weeks and brought his team back to make the game a lot closer, but in the end, the lack of healthy weapons is hurting this Philly team. Baltimore allowed a bad Philadelphia team to get back into the game, which should be a cause for Ravens fans’ concern. 

STEELERS 38 — BROWNS 7:

Browns Head coach Kevin Stefanski cited a rib injury as the reason for Baker Mayfield struggling. The fact is that the Steelers are very good this season, and Cleveland is simply not good enough to compete in a tough and competitive division with Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and a Cincinnati team on the rise. 

BUCCANEERS 38 — PACKERS 10:

Tom Brady rebounds nicely after losing to Nick Foles last week. Green Bay went ahead on the scoreboard early with 10-0 in the first quarter, but from the 2nd quarter on, Tampa bay scored 38 unanswered points on a packers team that looked completely overwhelmed. 

49ERS 24 — RAMS 16:

Jimmy G had a solid game with 3 TDs and zero interceptions to help San Francisco win a huge divisional game. The NFC West is now the most combative division in the NFL. 

BEARS 23 — PANTHERS 16:

Carolina was looking pretty good coming into this game, but Terry Bridgewater struggled to get his offense going. Chicago is now 5-1 playing some sloppy looking football and finding ways to win games. The Bears are now in a great position to win this division.

CHIEFS 26 — BILLS 17:

Patrick Mahomes got back on track throwing 2 TDs to star tight end Travis Kelce and relying on a powerful running game behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who rushed for 161 yards. The Bills have lost 2 games in a row, and Josh Allen struggled in both games; next week, they have the pathetic NY Jets, which should be a winnable game for them. 

TITANS 42 — TEXANS 36:

Romeo Crennel has this Houston team playing at a higher level than under Bill O’Brien. This was a thrilling game that went into overtime, but the combination of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry is becoming a lethal dose of explosiveness. The Titans are now 5-0 and looking like a legit contender. 

DOLPHINS 24 — JETS 0:

It didn’t really matter that FitzMagic had 2 interceptions; he still managed to score 3 TDs, and Miami completely dominated this NY Jets team that is just plain awful and possibly the worst team in the NFL. Adam Gase will be fired very soon. 

BRONCOS 18 — PATRIOTS 12:

This was the most surprising game of the week. Cam Newton and New England struggled in all areas of the ball. Cam looked rusty after testing positive for Covid a few weeks ago. Denver only needed to score 6 field goals and zero TDs to put this game away. 

FALCONS 40 — VIKINGS 23:

Matt Ryan looked great, and Kirk Cousins played his worst game. Minnesota needs to press the panic button now and make some drastic changes. Atlanta got their first win of the season, and it was a huge one. 

LIONS 34 — JAGUARS16:

Both these two teams are bad, but Jacksonville is almost as bad as the Jets, and Detroit’s defense feasted on a flawed Jacksonville team.

COLTS 31 — BENGALS 27:

Indianapolis needed this win badly. Phillip Rivers threw 3 TDs and 1 interception and brought the Colts to 4-2 behind Tennessee for the division. Joe Burrow threw for over 300 yards with 1 interception; he seems to continue to get more comfortable as a starting QB. The Bengals will contend next season.

*TV SERIES RECAP: WESTWORLD (Season 3)

We went full Matrix this season; Going beyond Science Fiction and more in-depth into philosophical themes of reality and consciousness. The complete series, seasons 1-3, feel like Cinematic TV at its finest.

Season 1 was excellent — I thought it was pure genius in every single aspect. I still believe that it was one of the most revolutionary, mind-blowing shows ever made. Season 2 was a bit underwhelming for me when compared to the first season, but I still liked it and found it to be pretty entertaining.

WESTWORLD Season 3 reinvents the western vibe of the whole series — following the escape of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) from the park at the end of season 2. Now we have a futuristic “real world” type of setting outside of the Westworld park.

The brilliant thing is that this future world looks and feels believable; it does not feel like a far-fetched version of a futuristic society. It feels like this type of setting, and this way of life is entirely possible, and like it is something within reach for all of us who live under our current timeline. All the little futuristic details worked well for me.

However, there is way too much exposition — lots and lots of exposition. Every single episode is full of drawn-out exposition. Things do not get going until the very end of almost every episode. This is not necessarily a bad thing — I just wasn’t in the best of moods when I binged through it.

I cannot get enough of Dolores; she is one awesome character. She has gone from this farm girl — always a victim type of character to a tough, take no prisoners approach, driven by revenge. There is so much room to keep growing and developing this character beyond this season….. If there is a season 4, then by all means, Dolores has got to be the central character.

Maeve (Thandie Newton) was very compelling in every single season; however, now, in season 3, she seems stuck and not really going anywhere. She is still trying to reunite with her fictional daughter, who has escaped into “The Valley Beyond.” Maeve’s character doesn’t seem to be developing further, and she is essentially repeating the same twists from previous seasons.

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is suffering from similar issues as the Maeve character. He spends most of this season Prophesizing the end of times. Plus, Bernard now has Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) as a sidekick. I really don’t know how I feel about this — and besides escaping into the human world, these two characters did not really do much.

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) has been consistently excellent ever since she showed up on season 2, but towards the end of this season, it felt like they were running out of ideas on what to do with this character.

William (Ed Harris) was always believed to be the real villain behind everything (believed by me, that is). Season 1 and season 2 established William as this sadistic, evil overlord, and Season 3 was all about redemption for William…. I am not sure William’s redemption was accomplished.

New Character Caleb (Aaron Paul) is a former soldier dealing with PTSD and struggling to readjust to life after his military service. I could not get into this character as much as I tried. Anyhow, he is supposed to be a john Connor type of character, leading the revolution — leading both humans and hosts.

The addition of Serac (Vincent Cassell) was a great idea. I am a big fan of Cassell’s work (everybody should watch Brotherhood of the Wolf, 2001). This Serac character is fascinating — his backstory was one of the highlights of this season.

…and what about the rest of the Hosts barely used this season like Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr), Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker), and so on…. I wanted to see them more involved in season 3. I also wonder if Teddy (James Marsden) will return in season 4. His absence was felt; Teddy was needed this season.

Hard to say if this series will go on; I sense the opportunity to move this series forward has been missed. I must admit that for me, there was an apparent drop-off from the first two seasons in terms of engagement. Nevertheless, I did enjoy all the profound philosophical and existential aspects of this season; however, sadly, I am no longer as invested or excited about future seasons as I once was.

Three out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿

Streaming on HBO MAX

*NFL WEEK 5 (2020 Season)

Dwayne Haskins got benched and demoted a few days before this game. He now finds himself behind Kyle Allen and Alex Smith in the starting rotation. This move was supposed to give the offense a spark heading into some winnable divisional games in the upcoming weeks (Cowboys and Giants twice). If Haskins was supposed to be the scapegoat for all the recent losses—and the reason behind all the anemic offensive play, well, then this move did the complete opposite, and it showed that they have more significant and more profound issues beyond Dwayne Haskins.

Kyle Allen did not play bad; he even ran for our one and only touchdown; however, the offense did not seem to be any better or more dynamic under Allen as a quarterback. On the contrary, they actually seemed to regress. The one bright-shining spot in this god-awful game was seeing Alex Smith return to the field. It felt like a Hollywood scene watching him getting back under center and handle his first NFL snap since that horrific leg injury that almost cost him his life. But Alex did not seem like himself; he was not effective moving the offense, he looked rusty, his mobility wasn’t there, and he even took a bunch of hits and sacks. I wasn’t surprised that Alex struggled this much, I mean, the man almost died, and less than a year later, he is back on the field. The question to me is whether or not he will be able to get back to form and play as well as he was playing before getting hurt last year. 

The defense was the biggest disappointment in this game, they had their butts handed to them, and it was by far their worst performance this season. Our defense was supposed to be our strength —the Rams were able to move the ball up and down the field and score on them almost at will. This game wasn’t even close. Unlike previous games, this game was not very encouraging to watch, and it is a cause for concern; and if we lose to the Giants next week, we should press the panic button immediately. 

WFT 10 — RAMS 30:

And for the rest of the league….

STEELERS 38 — EAGLES 29:

The Steelers are 4-0, and nobody outside of Pittsburgh is making a big deal about this. Big Ben is healthy and playing well, their defense is solid, and this AFC North division is much more competitive than I imagined. Carson Wentz continues to struggle and throwing multiple interceptions per game. It doesn’t get any easier for Philly; they have Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to contend with next week.

COWBOYS 37 — GIANTS 34:

Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome injury and is now out for the rest of the year. Andy Dalton came in and played well, putting Dallas in excellent field position for a Zuerlein game-winning kick. Curious to see how Dallas will respond with Andy Dalton as quarterback going forward. The Giants are 0-5, and they have a date with my Washington Football Team next Sunday.

RAIDERS 40 — CHIEFS 32:

Huge victory by this Vegas team — The AFC West division will be a three-team race, and the Raiders took a big step towards making the playoffs by dominating the defending Super Bowl champions. This Raiders team is built for the long haul, and come December; they will be in the middle of it all. Kansas City lost their first game this season, and it seems like teams are beginning to figure out how to slow down Patrick Mahomes. 

TEXANS 30 — JAGUARS 14:

In their first game after firing Bill O’Brien, the Texans came out to make a statement and win their first game this season. It doesn’t get any easier for Houston; they play Tennessee and Green Bay in the next two weeks. I’m sure Romeo Crennel as the oldest active coach in the NFL, will have this Houston team well prepared and ready to start winning some games. The Jaguars are just bad this year.

RAVENS 27 — BENGALS 3:

Baltimore made Joe Burrow look like the rookie that he is. But Lamar Jackson also struggled for most of the game. The Bengals’ upside is that they are a young team on the rise, and the Ravens have another winnable game against the Eagles next Sunday. 

SEAHAWKS 27 — VIKINGS 26:

This game was excellent. Kirk Cousins brought Minnesota to the brink of victory, but a highly questionable call by head coach Zimmer, deciding to go for 2 points instead of an extra point, cost them dearly at the end of the game. Russell Wilson is officially the most clutch quarterback in the NFL…PERIOD!

PANTHERS 23 — FALCONS 16:

Dan Quinn became the 2nd Head coach fired this season, and his termination came almost immediately after another frustrating loss for Atlanta. The Falcons have massive changes to make next season, from new Head Coach to new General manager and potentially a new franchise quarterback. Carolina started the season slow at 0-2 and now find themselves at 3-2 with solid quarterback play from Terry Bridgewater.

BROWNS 32 — COLTS 23:

Cleveland is looking like the team we were promised by all the media hype last season, and Baker Mayfield is playing better than last year. However, next week they have another tough test against the 4-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Colts got away from the winning formula that had them winning 3 games in a row. Indianapolis could not get their running game going and relied on Phillip Rivers’s air game. 

BEARS 20 — BUCCANEERS 19:

Nick Foles owns Tom Brady, simple as that. This was a fun game to watch. Brady made a costly mistake at the end of the game by forgetting which down it was, and sports media is making a huge deal out of it. 

DOLPHINS 43 — 49ERS 17:

FitzMagic and the Dolphins embarrassed San Francisco. Kyle Shanahan has seen enough of Jimmy G and benched him. The 49ers are struggling this season, and Jimmy G might be done in San Francisco. 

CARDINALS 30 — JETS 10:

Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins are fire together. Sam Darnold is probably regretting being drafted by such a mess of an organization. I find it interesting how the Jets always find themselves in the head coaching market every couple of years. Maybe ownership might be the root of the problem here.

SAINTS 30 — CHARGERS 27:

The Chargers are playing way better than what their 1-4 record suggests. Their rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is impressive, and it is beyond evident that their focus should be to build around him. Drew Bress is still ‘Da Man’ in New Orleans. His play is still elite, and this game proved it once again — Any talk of replacing him is just crazy talk at this time. 

TITANS 42 — BILLS 16:

Extremely surprised at how dominant Tennesee was in this game. The Bills and Titans were both undefeated coming into this game, and of the two, I expected Buffalo to be the more physical and dynamic.

*NFL WEEK 4 (2020 Season)

Dwayne Haskins is not the reason why we lost this game; he played better this week from how he played against the Browns. His stats were actually pretty good against Baltimore; 314 yards with zero interceptions, albeit no Touchdowns. Rumors have already begun to circulate regarding a possible benching, which is insane talk. If this coaching staff believes benching Haskins over Kyle Allen is the solution to the offensive issues, then it probably means they are done with Haskins for the season.

Look, the quarterback play needs to prove for sure, but we need playmakers to step up — Mclaurin is the only clear cut playmaker we have on offense. Antonio Gibson is starting to show flashes and keeps getting better and better every week. We have to be patient with Gibson, especially since he wasn’t a running back in college, so he needs a season under his belt to show what he has to offer to this offense as a running back. 

Not having Chase Young available made a noticeable difference in the defensive front. This team’s strength was supposed to be the defense, and they are not playing as such. The entire secondary has to get upgraded in the off-season. Building around Landon Collins and Kendall Fuller is crucial. I still wonder if we made a mistake on letting Josh Norman leave too soon, we could’ve used him this season. 

Unlike previous years, the silver lining is that this Washington franchise has some legit talent to build around. We have the makings of what could potentially be a dominant team for years to come — IF, of course, we continue to build things the right way and make some strategic upgrades through the draft and free agency. 

WFT 17— BALTIMORE 31:

And for the rest of the league:

BROWNS 49 — COWBOYS 38:

This was a high-scoring game where Dallas got behind early — by halftime, the score was 31-14 and although the Cowboys scored 24 points in the 4th quarter and Dak had over 500 yards with 4 TDs, It was just not enough to catch up to a Browns team that played a well-balanced game. The most significant difference here was that Dallas could never establish a running game and relied mostly on Dak throwing the ball. The Browns running attack combined 307 yards with 40 rushing attempts, whereas Dallas barely had 85 total yards, combined with only 18 rushing attempts.

EAGLES 25 — 49ERS 20:

Philadelphia got their first win of the season with a lot of help from the inconsistent and, at most times, lousy quarterback play from San Francisco. The 49ers are never impressive with Jimmy G, however, right now, his absence is being felt, and Garoppolo is the best chance they have to get their offense back on track. 

RAMS 17 — GIANTS 9:

This was a pathetic game to watch. The Giants are awful, and the Rams struggled for 4 quarters to get anything going offensively until the end of the game when Jared Goff finally made something happen and threw a TD pass to Kupp to essentially put this game away.

VIKINGS 31 — TEXANS 23:

Minnesota committed themselves to run the ball and to feed Dalvin Cook as much as possible, and it paid big-time dividends. Cook carried the ball 27 times for 130 yards and 2 TDs. This is the recipe for continued success for the Vikings. Houston is now 0-4, and Bill O’Brien has now been fired: the first head-coaching casualty of the 2020 corona season. It gets easier for Romeo Crennel as their new interim Head Coach is next week against Jacksonville. 

CHIEFS 26 — PATRIOTS 10:

The Patriots were having success containing Mahomes for most of the game, until the 4th quarter when things just fell apart for New England. They gave up a TD followed almost immediately by a pick 6 from Tyrann Mathieu. It was evident that not having Cam Newton in this game made a huge difference for New England. 

PACKERS 30 — FALCONS 16:

Aaron Rodgers seemed to be having way too much fun with this depleted Falcons secondary, throwing for over 300 yards and 4 TDs. Atlanta is a mess, and at 0-4, things don’t look promising for them, and Dan Quinn might very well be the next Head coach to be sent packing. 

BILLS 30 — RAIDERS 23:

Buffalo has something special in Josh Allen. The combination of Devin Singletary, Cole Beasley, and the addition of Stefon Diggs makes this Bills offense a dangerous and dynamic offense. Their week 6 game against Kansas city should be fireworks. The Raiders are still banged up but played well enough to make this game competitive; I still think that this Jon Gruden’s team will be contending for a playoff spot come season’s end. 

PANTHERS 31 — CARDINALS 21:

Terry Bridgewater got things going early, never let up, and even scored his first rushing TD since 2015. In the absence of McCaffrey, Carolina seems to be figuring out how to get other players more involved in the offense. Arizona had to play catch up for the whole game. Kyler Murray threw 3 TDs and ran for 78 yards, but it wasn’t enough to put together a comeback. 

BUCCANEERS 38 — CHARGERS 31:

Brady is looking pretty damn comfortable under Bruce Arians, putting up substantial numbers and throwing a record number of TDs per game, looking like his prime days back in New England. The Chargers started the season hot and looked like contenders, but they are now banged up and struggling. They seem to have lost their starting running back, Austin Ekeler, for a few weeks. The Saints are next for LA, and New Orleans is coming in hot. 

SAINTS 35 — LIONS 29:

Drew Brees brought New Orleans back from 0-14 late in the 1st quarter, and with this victory, Bress silenced all the benching talk for at least another week. Detroit continues to struggle, and if they don’t make the playoffs this season, Matt Patricia will be fired. It seems like it would take a miracle to turn this Lions team around. 

COLTS 19 — BEARS 11:

The Colts have the best defense in football statistically, and they are quietly are making a case for the most improved team this season. Chicago needs a few games to get themselves back on track under Nick Foles as their quarterback

SEAHAWKS 31 — DOLPHINS 23 :

Seattle is undefeated, although Russell Wilson struggled a bit under a resurgent Miami defense on the rise. Fitz Magic is still putting up solid numbers to keep himself as the starter… for now. 

BENGALS 33 — JAGUARS 25:

Joe Burrow got his first win as an NFL quarterback and deservingly so. Cincinnati has been playing relatively well under this rookie quarterback. Jacksonville had issues everywhere, and their defense is full of holes; they cannot seem to be able to stop anyone. The Jaguars have an interesting matchup next week against Deshaun Watson and the Texans. 

BRONCOS 37 — JETS 28:

Sam Darnold played a solid game throwing for over 200 yards with 84 yards rushing and even running for 1 TD with zero interceptions. Unfortunately, for the Jets, Darnold could not get anything else going, and the rest of their scores came from field goals. The Broncos, on the other hand, seemed like the better-balanced team offensively. Broncos’ new starting quarterback Brett Rypien was on survival mode for most of the game against a Gregg Wiliams defense that came hot and heavy pretty often.